12/19/2016

State Pays Off Debt, Will Conserve Companies From Additional Taxes

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Categories: Taxes
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Ohio paid the remaining $271 million on the states recession-era financial obligation to the federal government
Tuesday. In doing so, it saved employers hundreds of millions in tax charges next year.

The loan, requiredhad to cover advantages to unemployed workers, was covered ahead of Thursdays due date
to prevent additional interest payments for the state and before the Nov. 1 deadline to dodge another
tax walking on Ohio organisations.

The benefit is a big win for companies that have been paying greater federal unemployment taxes
under a compulsory payment system. Their savings next year will have to do with $351 million, said Bruce
Madson, assistant director of the Ohio Department of Task and Family Services.

Were really delighted, but we still need (legislators) to focus on the trust fund, he stated.

Without adequate reserves when the recession hit in December 2007, Ohio and lots of other states
were required to borrow from a federal loan fund to continue paying joblessness settlement. Ohio
is among the last states to repay its loan. Just California and the Virgin Islands have financial obligations
remaining.

Under a necessary payment system, Ohio businesses have paid higher federal unemployment taxes
since 2012 to pay for the loans principal while the state has actually paid interest on the loan. The debt
at one time reached $3.4 billion.

Last spring, the General Assembly approved a business-backed strategy crafted by Senate President
Keith Faber to tap Ohios unclaimed funds held by the Department of Commerce to pay back the loan and
prevent a 6th annual increase in the federal tax penalty Jan. 1.

Companies will repay the state through a one-time additional charge of about $50 per employee in 2017.
Thats $76 less than the $126 per staff member in federal tax charges they faced if the loan was not
repaid.

Legal leaders also appointed a joint legal panel to deal with structural issues in
hopes of preventing future borrowing. The objective is to craft an expense for lawmakers to authorize after the
November election when they are expected to go back to the Statehouse.

Ohio law sets a minimum sufficient reserve for its unemployment compensation fund at $2.8 billion,
a quantity the state has actually never achieved. The current balance is $620 million, and it will sink to
$ 180 million in early 2017, Madson said.

An option likely will need changing both the taxes paid by employers to fund the system and
benefits paid to out of work workers

In a declaration, Gov. John Kasich called the reward great news for Ohio companies and employees.
… while Ohio is much stronger today, legislators are best to be looking at long-lasting services to
Ohio’s damaged unemployment compensation system that are fair to both employers and employees.

ccandisky@dispatch.com

@ccandisky


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